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Sensible Kate

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  110 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Ten-year-old orphaned Kate, who knows herself to be a very sensible child, longs to be cute and pretty.
Hardcover, 189 pages
Published by Viking Children's Books (first published 1943)
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Jan 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Maudies
Shelves: favorites
6/2017 Reread, natch. I find more in this book every time I return to it, and this time was no exception. Mr. Tuttle, in particular, struck me with his goodness and his insight. This book, taken as a whole, may well be my favorite love story ever.

1/2008 Why Doris Gates hasn't listservs devoted to her lovely work is beyond me. This tale of Kate, who is an orphan easily as delightful as Anne Shirley, is one I treasure and re-read often. In fact, I'm about due for a re-read of this, my favorite of
Feb 12, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Ooo! Lots of good reviews from my GR friends. And, since my nickname is Kate, and I'm often told I'm very sensible, and I love seaside towns in California--this sounds pretty perfect for me ;-)
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Rory, Karey
Shelves: youth, historical, vintage
Some books, you start reading and you know it is Your Book. This is My Book. Another red-headed orphan, but Kate is nothing like Anne and I love her for it.

I was a little skeptical of meeting Christopher on the beach, seemed kind of creepy, but once I got over that, I loved him and Nora. I loved the Tuttles and I was mush when Mr. Tuttle said, "I hope you like us," and it broke my heart when Mrs. Tuttle did not go up the stairs. And at the end, when all Kate can think is that she will be useful
Thomas volunteered to pick out my "ugly cover" book for the vt reading challenge and came back with Sensible Kate. I forgot this was even on the shelf! My copy has this same illustration, but is a beat-up garage sale paperback.

I've wanted to have a red-headed kid for a while, but children's lit could make me rethink that -- those kids tend to end up orphans.
Cynthia Brown
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For some reason I thought of this book and couldn't believe I saw it on Good reads. I read it as a 7 or 8 year old in the early 70s; I think I got it from a garage sale or possibly from an older cousin. I have seen reviews from adults stating that it wasn't written on a child's level; all I can say to that was that as a child, I loved that book and re-read it many times! It grabbed me, almost but not quite as firmly as the Little House books!
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend! I remember reading this as a child. I can see where some of my values were influenced by this book. The illustration by Marjorie Torrey is truly wonderful, which is appropriate since one of the characters is an artist. With these lovely pictures I could easily imagine his work. I would suggest for my Vintage Book Circle except that there is only one copy in our library system. It is really charming.
Susan Mehring
May 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite childhood books.
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to CLM by: Ward School Library
Completely forgot how much I like this (inevitably, an orphan) book! Much better than Blue Willow which has many fans and once helped me get a job...
B. Hale
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
re-read as an adult
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
This book was published in 1943, but I wondered if the action was meant to be set earlier. In the 1940s did the county authorities really send out 10 year old girls as "family help" (ie unpaid servants) under foster care programmes? If Kate had been say 15, it would have been less surprising. I did wonder why, if she has all those relations, none of them could be legally obliged to take her in, but then if they had there wouldn't have been a story.

When I first started to read this, I thought, oh
PacaLipstick Gramma
My granddaughter found this book at a book sale. Originally published in 1943, it was later reprinted in 1968. This looked like a delightful book, so I asked if I could read it. That way, when she was done reading it, we could have a book discussion! How fun!

Books were written entirely different that many years ago, and I took that into consideration.

This is about a ten year old girl, so one would think that it would be written on their level. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. I am an adult, and always have
Sep 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
My 10 year old self adored this book. I reread it later as an adult and still found it charming, if unrealistic.

Kate is an orphan girl who thinks she's ugly (although you can see on the cover art that she is dead wrong about that!). She doesn't like her red hair and her freckles. She decides that if she can't be pretty, she had better make up for it somehow. People have told her she has a good head on her shoulders and is sensible, so she grabs onto that for her identity.

While she is staying wit
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Susann by: Melody
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 18, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, own
When I was younger I didn't understand a child who didn't have a sense of humor. Kate doesn't understand Chris and Nora's teasing, but likes them anyhow.

There isn't very much sorrow about Vic's older brother, Leo, being lost at sea, which is odd, and there's no follow-up to the strange neighbor lady who plants cactus in the violets bed. Other than that, it's a sweet little story, although a bit too reminiscent of Anne of Green Gables.
April Helms
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, fiction
I remember reading and enjoying this book as a child. Kate, who considers herself plain, learns to balance her life with a bit of fun when she runs into a young couple who seem to be the antithesis of "sensible." I did wonder why she considered herself so plain -- I thought from the illustration she was rather pretty.
Aug 10, 2016 rated it liked it
read aloud to near-7yo. We both enjoyed this. It's low-key, in that not much happens, but we were never bored. Just a tale of 10 months in the life a 10yo girl in the 1940s. Her life changes drastically, but not in a dramatic way, since she approaches the world sensibly, she takes it a day at a time and as it comes.


It changes for good, not for bad.
Nov 06, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe it, but this is actually a book I despise. The story itself is very bland, the characters are pretty dull, and the "action" is not really understandable and boring. I honestly don't recommend this book, but go ahead if you want to read it.
Sep 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrensbooks
Thank your Melody Marie Murray for donating this book to our book exchange! I loved it, and cried and laughed and cried some more - tears of joy at the end even though I knew it was coming.
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-and-ya
Excellent middle grades novel by Doris Gates (author of Blue Willow)that I still remember and yeah, even as an adult, occasionally re-read. Great characters, good plot.
May 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Takes place in Pacific Grove... very sweet and old fashioned
Liz Flaherty
Jan 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I barely remember reading this book--I was nine--but I do know I loved it--and Kate.
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is simply a sweet book slightly reminiscent of Anne of Green Gables without the depth or complexity of LM Montgomery.
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Mary Smith
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A lifelong resident of California, Doris Gates was for many years, she was a librarian for the Fresno County Free Library. However, she is remembered for her many beloved children's books. Of these, the best known and most influential was Blue Willow (1940), selected as a Newbery Honor Book in 1941. Many consider Blue Willow to have been the first realistic, problem novel for children, and it was ...more
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